2nd October 2019

nationalgeographic
12

What is the average time between field reversals?

Our planet's magnetic field reverses about once every 200,000 years on average. However, the time between reversals is highly variable. The last time Earth's magnetic field flipped was 780,000 years ago, according to the geologic record of Earth's polarity.

Similarly one may ask, how long does it take for the poles to flip?

Arlington, Va.—The time it takes for Earth's magnetic field to reverse polarity is approximately 7000 years, but the time it takes for the reversal to occur is shorter at low latitudes than at high latitudes, a geologist funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) has concluded.

When was the last time the Earth's magnetic field reversed?

The rate of reversals in the Earth's magnetic field has varied widely over time. 72 million years ago (Ma), the field reversed 5 times in a million years.

What is the pole shift?

The geographic poles are defined by the points on the surface of the Earth that are intersected by the axis of rotation. Pole shift hypotheses are not the same as geomagnetic reversal, the periodic reversal of the Earth's magnetic field (effectively switching the north and south magnetic poles).
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